East Coast forestry companies plead not guilty to slash damage

Vast quantities of forestry slash after the torrential rain last June. File picture by Liam Clayton
Tolaga Bay Storm - GDC Councillor Pat Seymour, Civil Defence James (Pop) Milner, Labour Politician Kiri Allan
Tolaga Bay Storm - GDC Councillor Pat Seymour, Civil Defence James (Pop) Milner, Labour Politician Kiri Allan
Tolaga Bay Storm - Labour Politician Kiri Allan, Paora Tuapawa, Jes Rangiwai, Todd Lee
Tolaga Bay will feature on TVNZ's Sunday programme tomorrow night. Picture by Liam Clayton
Inspecting the damage after the June floods. Picture by Liam Clayton
Clean up has now begun.
NEEDS TO BE INSPECTED: Logs pushed up against one of the bridges inland around Tolaga Bay that remain closed after the weekend’s deluge. Engineers need to inspect bridges, some of which are still under water, to ascertain the damage. Wigans Bridge on Tauwhareparae Road remains closed for at least two weeks after the weight of wood twisted it by 30cm. Picture by Liam Clayton
Tolaga Bay Storm -
Tolaga Bay Storm -
The June storms hit Tolaga Bay hard. The Enhanced Taskforce Green crews helping with the clean-up have worked on a dozen properties so far. File picture
Slash on the beaches after the storms in June last year. 2018 file picture by Liam Clayton
'pine island' tolaga bay

Ten East Coast forestry companies charged with causing flood-borne debris damage in Tolaga Bay and surrounding areas have all entered not-guilty pleas in the Gisborne District Court.

It is the first time the companies have appeared in court since being charged by the Gisborne District Council with breaching their resource consent conditions.

An estimated 1,000,000 tonnes of logs and debris was left strewn on properties and roads during two bouts of heavy rainfall in June last year.

Tolaga Bay was the worst hit and three companies that operate there - Hikurangi Forest Farms, Ernslaw One and PF Olsen - were among the ten charged, RNZ reported.

The other companies are DNS Forest Products, South Pacific Forestry Holdings, Permanent Forestry, A&R Logging, Logic Forest Solutions, Juken New Zealand and Timbergrow Limited.

Judge Warren Cathcart denied requests from all the companies for more time to be given to consider thousands of pages of evidence from the council relating to the charges, before they entered a plea.

Gisborne District Council lawyer Adam Hopkinson argued the companies were given the documents in February and had plenty of time to consider them, and Judge Cathcart agreed.

The companies will reappear in court in August. - Radio New Zealand

Ten East Coast forestry companies charged with causing flood-borne debris damage in Tolaga Bay and surrounding areas have all entered not-guilty pleas in the Gisborne District Court.

It is the first time the companies have appeared in court since being charged by the Gisborne District Council with breaching their resource consent conditions.

An estimated 1,000,000 tonnes of logs and debris was left strewn on properties and roads during two bouts of heavy rainfall in June last year.

Tolaga Bay was the worst hit and three companies that operate there - Hikurangi Forest Farms, Ernslaw One and PF Olsen - were among the ten charged, RNZ reported.

The other companies are DNS Forest Products, South Pacific Forestry Holdings, Permanent Forestry, A&R Logging, Logic Forest Solutions, Juken New Zealand and Timbergrow Limited.

Judge Warren Cathcart denied requests from all the companies for more time to be given to consider thousands of pages of evidence from the council relating to the charges, before they entered a plea.

Gisborne District Council lawyer Adam Hopkinson argued the companies were given the documents in February and had plenty of time to consider them, and Judge Cathcart agreed.

The companies will reappear in court in August. - Radio New Zealand

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Chase Matete, Anaura Bay - 10 days ago
Mate, someone has got to be held accountable for the mess that happened. These profitable forestry companies need to take ownership of their actions and what went wrong. I say shut them down . . . and we'll also feel safer on SH35.

Huhana Rokx Potae, Tokomaru Bay - 10 days ago
Ka pai GDC, now you're doing your job. Keep the pressure up.

Lillian Te Hau, Hawke's Bay (from Tokomaru Bay) - 9 days ago
Not guilty? Really? Look at the rubbish (slash) you companies leave behind . . . add to that constant rain that causes slips.

Maihe Nikora, Kalgoorlie - 9 days ago
Of course they've made all that mess. It doesn't make itself you eggs!!!

W Gerrard - 8 days ago
So the forestry companies are going to plead not guilty - and blame who or what? How can they not take responsibility for the slash that definitely came from their forests?

Jenny Ferguson, ex-Coastie - 8 days ago
What a joke. This is what happens when you have offshore owners who don't care about us or our land.